DENVER (CBS4) – On Monday state lawmakers started working to get emergency aid to Coloradans. Much of it will focus on small businesses, including entertainment venues, but there will also be a focus on the artists themselves. Until that happens, those in Denver’s music scene are taking it upon themselves to get resources to those in need.
“We started hearing a few months ago that musicians after having no shows for nine months were starting to hit hard times,” said Cass Clayton, a local musician.
She is among those now partnering with Denver’s popular music venue Dazzle to get relief to artists sooner rather than later.
“Once people realized this wasn’t going away there’s kind of a level of freaking out, like ‘What do we do to make ends meet?’” Clayton said.
They’re now launching an event called Bread and Jam, using part of the venue as a food pantry open to all musicians, and offering the stage for artists to perform on a live stream, while also offering up a small amount of pay.
Dwight Thompson with Dazzle helped make it all happen.
“We have been able to find some really generous donors. (We’ve) been able to pitch in on our own, basically make it so musicians can get paid, so they get a guarantee to play,” he said.
Right now, just playing, Clayton says, may be more important than the money itself.
“There are a few things going on. Loss of income and mental health issues because we don’t have the sense of purpose we once had,” she said.
While they wait for a chance to get back in front of an audience, they’re hoping turning to each other for resources and support will be enough to keep the music alive.
“When the arts die culture dies, when culture dies what do you have?” Thompson said.
Bread and Jam will be a weekly event, with Saturdays being collection days for donations.
Sunday will be the first jam session and live-streamed performance, as well as the opening of the pantry where musicians can go and shop for free, while also having access to mental health services or referrals.
Artists can visit the pantry at 1512 Curtis St. Denver, CO 80202 on Sundays between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. If you’d like to donate nonperishable food items, new personal essentials, or cash/gift cards you can also bring them to that location on Saturdays between 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.
LINK: Dazzle’s Bread and Jam